Available March 2023
Following an early 2022 recording release of the same works, Michelle Cann and the GRAMMY Award-winning Catalyst Quartet perform the two piano quintets of Florence Price: the playful and romantic Quintet in A minor and the shorter Quintet in E minor.
Pianist Michelle Cann made her orchestral debut at age fourteen and has since performed as a soloist with numerous ensembles including The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
A champion of the music of Florence Price, Ms. Cann performed the New York City premiere of the composer’s Concerto in One Movement with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in July 2016 and the Philadelphia premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra in February 2021, which the Philadelphia Inquirer called “exquisite.” She has also performed Price’s works for solo piano and chamber ensemble for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, and the New World Symphony, among other presenters.
Ms. Cann regularly appears in solo and chamber recitals throughout the U.S., China, and South Korea. Notable venues include the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), and the Barbican (London).
Ms. Cann has appeared as cohost and collaborative pianist with NPR’s From The Top and has been featured on WRTI-FM and WHYY-TV in Philadelphia. Her summer festival appearances have included the Taos Chamber Music Festival, Yellow Barn, Perlman Music Program, Music Academy of the West, Geneva Music Festival, and Pianofest in the Hamptons, where she serves as artist in residence.
An award winner at top international competitions, in 2019 she served as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s MAC Music Innovator in recognition of her role as an African-American classical musician who embodies artistry, innovation, and a commitment to education and community engagement.
Ms. Cann studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies.
Hailed by the New York Times at its Carnegie Hall debut as “invariably energetic and finely burnished … playing with earthy vigor,” the Grammy Award-winning Catalyst Quartet celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2020. Founded by the Sphinx Competition, the ensemble has toured widely throughout the United States and abroad, including sold-out performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., at Harris Theater in Chicago, the New World Center in Miami, and Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The members of the quartet have been guest artists with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá; and have served as principal players and a featured ensemble with the Sphinx Virtuosi on six national tours.
Catalyst Quartet has been invited to perform by prominent music festivals ranging from Mainly Mozart in San Diego, to the Sitka Music Festival and Juneau Jazz and Classics in Alaska, to the Grand Canyon Music Festival, where they appear annually. The quartet was ensemble in residence at the Vail Dance Festival in 2016; and in 2014 they opened the Festival del Sole with Joshua Bell and participated in the Aldeburgh Music Foundation String Quartet Residency with two performances in the Jubilee Hall.
Recent seasons have brought international engagements in Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Puerto Rico, along with regular tours throughout the United States. Based in New York City the ensemble has performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Center, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Schneider Concerts at the New School, and Lincoln Center. Catalyst Quartet played six concerts with jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant for Jazz at Lincoln Center; the subsequent recording won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. The quartet launched its own New York series, CQ@Howl, in 2018.
Catalyst Quartet’s latest project is UNCOVERED, a multi-volume series of recordings for Azica Records celebrating overlooked composers. Volume 1, released in February 2021, includes the string quartet and quintets of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Forthcoming releases will feature music by Florence Price, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, William Grant Still, and George Walker, among others.
Catalyst Quartet combines a serious commitment to diversity and education with a passion for contemporary works. The ensemble serves as principal faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Curtis Institute of Music. Ongoing residencies include the Grand Canyon Music Festival and the Sphinx Organization’s Overture program. Past residencies have included concerts and master classes at the University of Michigan, University of Washington, Rice University, Houston’s Society for the Performing Arts, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Virginia Arts Festival, Pennsylvania State University, In Harmony in England, the University of South Africa, Teatro De Bellas Artes in Cali, Colombia, and the Cuban American Youth Orchestra in Havana, Cuba.
Catalyst Quartet is a Sphinx ensemble and proudly endorses Pirastro strings. Learn more at CatalystQuartet.com.